Working Holiday

Your guide to arrival + survival in Whistler...


Getting a Mobile Phone

Getting a mobile phone in Whistler is just as important as finding a job and finding a place to stay because it will make life a lot more easier instead of relying on email to communicate with all the new people and potential employers you will meet.

Mobile Phone Stores in Whistler

WSC Communications
Tyndall Stone Lodge
4338 Main st #124

4338 Main Street

Mobile Phones in Canada

There are two different systems for mobile phones in Canada - CDMA and GSM - and they operate on the 800, 850 and 1900 MHz frequency ranges. If you bring your own foreign phone to Canada, it might or might not work in the Canadian Network.

The wireless/mobile phone service available in your area may depend on which companies have a license in the province you are in. In British Columbia (where Vancouver is), the largest provider is Telus Mobility (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec (CDMA))

Here are some of the other largest mobile carriers in Canada:
Bell Mobility : Ontario & Quebec (CDMA)
Rogers / Fido-Microcell : Ontario & Quebec (GSM)
Virgin Mobile : Ontario (CDMA-PCS)
Sprint Canada : Ontario, Quebec (GSM or CDMA depending on the region)
Aliant : Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland & Labrador (CDMA)
SaskTel : Saskatchewan (CDMA)

If you bring a mobile phone from Europe and want to use it in Canada, you may need to have a phone compatible with GSM operators in the country. You will need to check:
• The frequency of your phone
• Whether or not your phone is unlocked to receive a new SIM card.

If your phone uses a different frequency, chances are will useless in Canada. It is quite hard to find places to unlock phones to enable them working with another operator, so consider getting this done in your home country. If you are lucky and your European phone is unlocked and can work on Canadian frequencies, you can buy a SIM card from Rogers, Fido and Sprint Canada for around CAD $20 and you will be set to go. SIM cards usually come empty so you will have to refill them with a prepaid card or get a monthly service plan.

These are links to information about pay-as-you-go plans for the major Canadian carriers. Most prepaid plans are not good as your credit expires after 30 days for most lower amounts, making them pretty similar to monthly plans.

On there’s a very good rundown of which plans are most cost-effective depending on your per-month usage.
Check out the rates for these different providers:
  • Rogers Wireless
  • Bell Mobility
  • Telus Mobility
  • Solo Mobile
  • Fido
  • Virgin Mobile
  • 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless
  • Petro-Canada Mobility
  • President’s Choice Telecom

Even if you have a mobile that should work in Canada, you need to make sure it is unlocked which means you can use other SIM cards on it and not just the ones used by your normal provider in your home country.
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